Rangers-linked Hearts defender John Souttar has been called up to the Scotland squad amid a run of strong form with the Jambos this season.
The 25-year-old centre-back has been called up in place of Premier League Norwich City defender Grant Hanley, who pulled out of the squad due to injury.
The inclusion of the defender is certainly merited and something we mused over last week following the news of Hanley’s injury.
This call-up comes after Souttar helped his Heart side to a thumping 5-2 victory over Dundee United at the weekend which got the Edinburgh club back to winning ways following a run of four games without a victory.
John Souttar has been pivotal to Hearts’ early-season form and his three goals in 15 matches – intertwined between imposing defensive performances – has been an impressive return.
The defender already has two Scotland caps and whilst regarded as amongst the brightest young defensive talents in the country, Souttar’s career has been hampered by a string of injuries.
Now proving his talent in Scotland, Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has no doubts the ex-Dundee United man can come up big for his country.
“If John gets called up I’d be delighted for him personally because he’s had a hard time in the last couple of years and in the last three months he’s been outstanding for us,” said Neilson [Football Scotland]
“He’s probably been ready for it for years, it’s just with an injury can he stay on the pitch? Will he go there and start? I don’t know but to be involved with it would be great for him.
“I’d prefer him not to be honest, to have an easy time and make sure he’s ready for Motherwell (after international break). If he gets called up, it’s a great honour for him and I’m sure he’ll enjoy it.”
Rangers-linked Hearts star John Souttar called up for Scotland duty
With Souttar’s contract up at the end of the season there is sure to be no shortage of suitors (I’m here all week) for his signature.
Rangers and Old Firm rivals Celtic have been linked with English Championship sides like Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers are amongst the other names mentioned [Daily Record].
This call up to the Scotland squad will do Souttar no harm when it comes to potential options in January with Hearts fans understandably desperate to keep the ex-Dundee United centre-back.
The defender will now go into the Scotland side for the World Cup Qualifying clashes with Moldova and Denmark.
Two Ibrox stars have also been called up to Steve Clarke’s squad as Scotland look to confirm a Playoff place ahead of the tournament at Qatar 2022.